From 'The Artist' to 'War Horse,' 23 Awards Contenders That Prominently Feature Animals (Photos)

We Bought a Zoo Entrance - H 2011
20th Century Fox

We Bought a Zoo Entrance - H 2011

Over the past month or so -- during which I saw Carnage, Hugo and The Adventures of Tintin and have been itching to see War Horse and We Bought a Zoo -- it dawned on me that they are just a small handful of a great many 2011 awards hopefuls that prominently feature animals ... many of which actually give very good "performances."

Sure, every year are a handful of animated flicks are built around anthropomorphic creatures, but this year seems to have even more of those than usual, plus a marked uptick in live-action flicks involving animals. So I sat down, came up with a list of 23 examples and assembled the following photo gallery of them. 

I hope that you'll check out my selections -- and let me know of any omissions, as well as your personal favorite, in the comments section at the bottom of this post.

PHOTOS: 23 Awards Contenders Featuring Animals